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Higher Alcohols


Matt Millward • Tucson, Arizona asks,

I recently started drinking mead that I brewed and have been aging for about a year. Some friends that I have let try it have mentioned that it smells like nail polish remover. As far as taste goes it tastes good and I would love to keep drinking it, however, I read an article in BYO that mentioned higher alcohols. I understand this process and it is quite possible this is the reason why my mead smells like nail polish remover. So my real question is can I safely keep drinking this mead or is it something I should pour down the drain? More directly, are fermented drinks that have higher alcohols safe to drink?

Before you dump your mead down the drain, please read my answer! The aroma you describe is the distinctive scent of ethyl acetate. This nail-polish smelling compound is the most common acetate
Response by Ashton Lewis.